The smallest variant of the Ecoboost family can produce up to 147 lb-ft of torque in overboost mode.

European vehicles have long used smaller motors than their American counterparts, so the recent trend of engine downsizing is resulting in some truly tiny engines in the old country: witness Ford's new 1.0-liter Ecoboost three-cylinder.

Slated to make its debut in the 2012 European Focus, the smallest member of the Ecoboost family is, of course, turbocharged and direct-injected but also does without a balance shaft because the flywheel and front pulley were engineered to be precisely out of balance to counter vibrations, a first for a production engine according to Ford.

Ford says the new engine is capable of producing the power of a 1.6-liter four pot, or, more specifically, 118 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque from just 1,300 rpm. 147 lb-ft of twist are available for short bursts thanks to an overboost feature, and a non-turbo variant is said to produce 98 horsepower.

While the engine will start life in the European Focus and expand to the C-MAX and B-MAX, Ford said in a statement that the mill will also eventually make its way to China and, yes, North America. Potential fuel economy gains were not discussed in the document.

"The 1.0-litre EcoBoost is one of the most advanced engines Ford has ever produced and makes use of so many innovative techniques and technologies that it's difficult to keep count" said Hoare. "It has always been Ford's strategy with EcoBoost technology to look at every single detail in our relentless pursuit of improving fuel economy without compromising performance, and this new engine demonstrates that philosophy perfectly. The net result is an

engine that we're sure will surprise and delight our customers."